I have been using the same old tattered and torn main sail since I purchased s/v Gemini Dreams 5 years ago. I entertained the idea of buying a new main more than once since then but kept putting it off. Now here I am at the end of Cruising Season 5. Even though I didn't make it to the Bahamas this year it still comes as another year of age to the old main. With tape on a tear, the seams starting to unravel and just flat out baggy when all else is great, I pronounce svGeminiDreams' mainsail retired.
Upon the initial search the site Northsailsdirect.com was no longer there. All the previous decisions were now in need of evaluation. I sent requests to almost all the top sail lofts in the USA. Almost everyone responded except Doyle and UK (UK responded saying they would get to it, but oh well). The pricing for a Main came in from $775 to $2150 for a complete sail (some quotes still need shipping added). Everyone so far has been cordial except Hood who was a little condescending (unfortunate as my Assymetrical and Foresail is Hood and I would have paid more to keep the set one maker. But not that much more!).
Also please do your due diligence when searching for a sail maker. Of the list of lofts below, several people on the net have shared their experiences both good and bad. I will not share directly any of those but I will share my personal experience with the sail maker I choose. In all fairness to any and all the lofts my inquiry started out the week before 4th of July weekend.
Out of all the quotes, internet comments and referrals from other sailors I chose Hyde Direct and Judy Blumhorst. Below will be a ledger of interactions with them.
© Photo copyright Hyde Sails
- June 26th - Used Hydesailsdirect.com (HSD) to get the estimate for my Albin Vega. This tool is EXCELENT! You never have to talk to anyone if you don't want to. There are 5 mains, 16 headsails, and 5 spinnakers quoted already.
- July 5th -Sent HSD a request for pricing on Boom/Stacker and Gennaker. No response from HSD perhaps they do not do the Stacker or Gennakers.
- July 8th - Sent HydeSails.us (HS) web form about pricing on Boom/Stacker and Gennaker. Auto conformation received. Later email "I can see that you require a Stack away cover , and a Code O ?" No that was a G0! Mark Corbett at HS refered my email to HSD. I still have no quote of a Boom/Stacker or G0!
- July 13th - Used Hydesailsdirect.com to make order for Mainsail. Albin 27 Vega Performance Mainsail (Challenge Warp-Drive Dacron) 211R Full batten with 3 reefs at $1589 shipped. Hyde charged 10% at this time.
- July 14th - Received email from David Blumhorst with details and measurement forms.
- July 15th - Email recieved from HS and Mark Corbett... "I can see that you require a Stack away cover , and a Code O ?" No that was a G0! Mark Corbett at HS has referred my email to HSD. I still have no quote of a Boom/Stacker or G0! from either HS or HSD.
- July 18th - Finally had time and weather to measure the sail. Sent forms and pics to HSD. Within 5 minutes a reply from Mark acknowledging this email and that they would get me a quote for the stacker and G0/1
- July 24th - Sent email asking status since I have not received either an email or another payment as expected. Auto return stating out of office until 7/27/15
- July -
- July -
© photos copyright Hyde Sails
Sail quotes for Albin Vega 27: The +/-SR is the amount for a headsail and main (Set) over or under from the SailRite kit. Quoted pricing July, 2015.
Notes: All foresails have the premium sun cover offered by the loft. All mains have two reefs except the Hydesailsdirect.com as I finally chose three reefs during the order increasing the price by $33. *not used for comparison, **used as base but needs to be sewn by you, blanks and ?'s were either not asked or answered.